The Legacy of Swami Vidyanandaji Maharaj

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By Bisram Rajkumar

Swami Vidyanandaji Maharaj incarnated himself as an Acharya who would guide people in different status of society. As such his life, thoughts and responsibilities were fully practicable and comprehensible. His body followed the spirit in him like a shadow following the substance. His body, mind and intellect were veritable instruments, through which the supreme divinity worked.

He lived in the ashram. Here he was extremely meditative and reflective in nature.

Swamiji is the epitome of gentleness. I have witnessed that quality in him which was best demonstrated when he was dealing with unreasonable people. We saw this when he was surrounded by problems. We saw this gentle sanyasi how he did not fight for his own rights; did not insist upon personal vindication; did not always have to correct others; did not repay in kind; did not return insult for insult and did not use force and intimidation to get his way. He had grace. No wonder so many of us loved him. When devotees go to him, they feel rested, relaxed and happy.

In some cases, answering a fool will cause you to be lowered to his level. He explained that very often a devotee will offer an argument simply to hear the sound of his own voice. Or perhaps a devotee will engage you in an argument with no other purpose than to cause you to lose your temper.

Swami Vidyanandaji Maharaj

The wise would see a person senses when the motive is other than a fair- minded search for the truth and doesn’t bother to enter the fray. You simply walk away. Better to say nothing than to descend to the level of gutter talk. I have seen him using this principle several times when others attempted to persecute him and assassinate his character.

He has a simple rule that he taught us for deciding whether or not to enter a discussion. If it is a personal issue, then you walk away. That is, if you feel yourself needing to win an argument instead of persuading another person, then for you, it is time to back off. The same thing applies if you feel yourself getting angry at the other person.

Swamiji had a wonderful formula for gossip. Sometimes we tell the truth but in such a way as to make someone look stupid. Sometimes we just plain lie. Be not quick to speak and take a life time to worry. Anyhow you slice it, it is gossip he would say. His advice is to practice mukham karo tiva sharam. Keep your mouth shut! Before you share what you know, ask yourself these three questions: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?

Bhagwan has given us two ears and one mouth so that we would listen twice as much as we talk. Sometimes his advice is harsh and can be misinterpreted but they have helped us to be better persons

Many of us will go up to his room to make complaints. It is normal that when things go bad we start to blame and complain. Complaining to him is counterproductive. He would say don’t blame others instead look within yourself for the source of the problem. Swamiji has enriched us because his lips brought forth wisdom and knowledge.

The devotees who were very close to him were pushed to the back. Do not be surprised.

Swamiji always wanted all of us would live as sangha brothers and sisters. In this way he thought that we would help each other along the way. In this way we can pick up each other when we fall down, rejoice together, weep together and correct each other when we make mistakes. After all, isn’t it this is what Guru Maharaj stated- “Go gather my children from the different shores and assemble them under the banner of the sangha?”

Today he is not here but he is always remembered.

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